πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Lucia Chapter 86 - 90 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️

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Lucia Chapter 86 - < — Memories of Mother — > (3)
LUCIA
C86 - < — Memories of Mother — > (3)
< — Memories of Mother — > (3)


Lucia sat in the receiving room using her free time till dinner to embroider a handkerchief. Her embroidery skill had improved quite a bit. In the past, the embroidery of Damian’s name at the edge of the handkerchief looked quite nice from afar but up-close, it looked less intricate. Now, even on a closer look, there was almost no misalignment.


‘I’ll send some books along with the handkerchief this time. There are good books for the child to read.’


It had almost been a year since she first saw Damian in the north. Because the child grew so fast, Lucia wondered how much he had grown. When could Damian be brought to the capital? His heartless father would never bring up Damian first if Lucia did not ask.


‘Tea parties are good for public opinion if you makes good relationships. I have to work hard for Damian. The child’s position is bound to be rejected. I have to make a path.’


It wasn’t something she could avoid by saying meeting people was too complicated. As she embroidered, Lucia affirmed the responsibility that she should have as the mother of a child.


“Milady.”


Jerome came in audibly and began to talk.


“Master sent a message. He said his return today is likely going to be later than expected. And although it will be a little later than dinner time, he wishes to have dinner together.”


“Is that so?” (Lucia)


Yesterday, he told her he would probably be late today. Hearing that he was unexpectedly coming back earlier, Lucia felt better. Seeing the glow on his Mistress’s face, Jerome turned his head and laughed.


The couple’s show of love wasn’t fazed by the servants and it grew stronger day by day. Usually, the madam was swept up in his master’s pace but the madam did not show active dislike as before.


The overflowing affection between their masters had quietly affected the servants. Today, Jerome received a resignation from a maid. The maid was getting married. This was already the third case.


“Jerome. Are there still party invitations for me these days?” (Lucia)


“Yes, Milady. They are increasing more and more.”


“Exclude balls or large scale gatherings. Pick out invitations for mainly small tea parties.”


“Yes, Milady.”


Jerome fixed his gaze on the handkerchief that Lucia was embroidering. The handkerchief with flower embroidery that his master always carried in his coat flashed into his mind.


His master’s change was really surprising. He was someone that never carried a handkerchief because he hated cumbersome things. Jerome tried hard to recall the faint former visage of his master. His master was changing from a savage wild beast to a tamed animal. But strangely, the new change was nice to look at.


It didn’t mean the Duke was a tough master in the past. He was an extremely rational person so he was never one to nitpick pointlessly.


It was just occasionally. Jerome was keen enough to catch the hidden bloodlust coming from his master. Jerome had never encountered a terrifying visage but he got the chills. It was at the worst when his master came back from hunting, and very rarely, there were times when Jerome felt like something that his master usually suppressed was coming out.


However, for about six months now, Jerome had not felt such a thing from his master. To phrase it excessively, his master who was wearing the skin of a ‘human’ was now becoming a real human.


“Milady. What do you think of gifting master an embroidered handkerchief as well?”


“The thread I use is thick so my embroidery will ruin a silk handkerchief.”



“Not a silk one but a cotton handkerchief…”


“Jerome. How can a grown man carry this around?” (Lucia)


Jerome’s expression was strange as he watched his Mistress chuckling. As expected, the Madam did not know. Well, since serving was entirely left to servants, it was natural she didn’t know.


“Even if Master doesn’t carry it around, he will be very delighted with Milady’s gift.”


“Mmm…my skill is embarrassing though…alright, I’ll make one with his name on it.”


Jerome broke out in a grin. A great butler who understands his master’s thoughts. The name of the man who was called to be a butler was Jerome.


* * *


Hugo arrived home a little later than dinner time. Fabian had something to report separately so he followed Hugo inside. He thought of seeing Jerome whom he hadn’t seen in a while and having a meal together as brothers.


As soon as Hugo arrived, many people came out to greet him but Hugo was only happy to see one person. He wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist and pulled her into his chest then he greeted her with a light kiss.


“I’m back.” (Hugo)


“Welcome back.” (Lucia)


It wasn’t easy to do this in front of the servants but Lucia’s face was flushed with many subtle feelings that she didn’t hate at all.


“What about dinner?” (Hugo)


“You told me to wait.”


“If you’re hungry, you could’ve eaten first.”


“I’m not that hungry.”


Hugo turned to Jerome and asked.


“Is the meal ready?”


“You can go to the dining room right away.” (Jerome)


When the Master and Mistress of the house entered the dining room, the gathered servants scattered in search of their respective jobs. They all had impassive expressions that stated they had something to do now.


The servants had reached the point where they thought that if the ducal couple were together, they would definitely do that. The older servants knew from experience that a frigid relationship between their masters would make the atmosphere at home suspenseful and anxious so they preferred this and thought it was very good. In this situation where everyone was satisfied, there was one person that was unable to be.


“You. What are you doing?” (Jerome)


Seeing Fabian who looked stunned with a gaping mouth, Jerome clicked his tongue.


“…I think I’m seeing things now.” (Fabian)


“Wait for me while I serve during dinner. Either you wait in my office or have dinner first, do as you please.”


Fabian held back Jerome who was going to the dining room.


“Is it like this everyday? I mean, do they do these goosebumps raising act everyday? Why is no one surprised?” (Fabian)


“Well. They are used to it now.” (Jerome)


The end is coming. This is a sign of the world’s destruction. Jerome glanced pitifully at Fabian who was murmuring with a dark aura around him, then he headed for the dining room.


* * *


While they were taking a walk after dinner, Lucia told him that she had signed a new dressmaking contract with Antoine. He didn’t say anything but from his expression, he didn’t seem pleased at all.


“I like the dresses Antoine makes. I plan to continue commissioning Antoine in the future.” (Lucia)


“It’s up to you.”


“Therefore, you cannot have a different contract with Antoine.”


“…What contract?”


Lucia had only speculated that he had signed some contract with Antoine. She thought it was strange for the cost of the coronation dress to be so cheap. But when she told Antoine, ‘it is a contract with me’, she could make a guess from Antoine’s reaction. There was a contract between her husband and Antoine that she didn’t know about. So she stealthily poked her husband and he also looked caught off guard. Thus, the guess hardened into conviction.


“I’ve talked a lot with Antoine about the last contract.” (Lucia)


“…”


Lucia’s ambiguous words sparked Hugo’s misunderstanding. Antoine told his wife everything about the contract!


If Antoine knew this, she would pound her chest in distress. Antoine had that much tact and common sense. No matter how much Lucia interrogated her, she would have kept her mouth shut about the dual contract and the blank check of the coronation dress. And as a matter of fact, the dual contract was meant to be used in the future and the Duke declared termination the contract before it could even take effect. The real gain was just the blank check.


“I didn’t want you to worry too much about money.” (Hugo)


Hugo nursed a grudge against the talkative designer. The Duke of Taran whose resourcefulness was as good as his fighting prowess had fallen for a very poor inducement.


“I won’t be so sensitive to that issue in the future. Don’t make a situation where you and someone else knows something but I alone don’t. I’ll be much more upset when I find out about it.” (Lucia)


“Okay. I won’t.” (Hugo)


When Lucia stopped walking, Hugo also came to a stop. Looking into his questioning eyes, Lucia spread her arms and embraced him. She had a lovely, gentle husband all to herself, and she was thankful for him. Feeling his arms wrapping around her to return the hug, Lucia’s heart was filled with happiness. She wished this moment could last forever.


< — Memories of Mother — > (3)


Fabian sat on the sofa in Jerome’s office, propping his chin with his hand and looking out the window with a hollow expression. It was dark outside but it was still visible enough to see a pair of silhouettes hugging in the distance. Fabian’s lips twitched.


“How long is this walk going to take? At this rate, daybreak will come.” (Fabian)


He wanted to give his report fast and go home. Some people have a wife and children!


“What have you been so unhappy about for a while now?” (Jerome)


Jerome sat at his desk doing his work but he was unable to remain a mere spectator of the noisy Fabian so he spoke to him.


“Leave me alone. I’m trying to get over my shock right now.” (Fabian)


Fabian’s mouth had fallen open again when he saw the two of them (Lucia and Hugo) holding hands lovingly after dinner and going out for a walk.


“It’s a happy occasion if the two of them have a good marital relationship. Your problem is you have a skewed view of everything.” (Jerome)


“I work for my lord because my view is skewed! Do you know how neglectful…! …Forget it. Why am I even talking to you? You servile child. Don’t go anywhere and call yourself our parent’s son.” (Fabian)


Jerome gave the grumbling Fabian a pitiful glance. Fabian listlessly looked out the window then suddenly, he turned around and flew into a rage.


“This is all because you have no idea! Do you know what type of person he is? If you see what I’ve seen, you won’t be able to be so calm!” (Fabian)


For the first time in his life, Fabian wanted to show his brother how his master was in his memory.


“So what. What exactly is the problem? Do you like the image of Master that you have in your head?” (Jerome)


“…It’s not that. I mean, I’m worried. Don’t you know the saying ‘if a person changes all of a sudden, they’ll fall ill’ is for a reason?” (Fabian)


“Don’t worry too much about useless things. And watch what you say. After all, it’s the mouth that makes a problem out of nothing.”


Fabian glared resentfully his heartless brother then he continued grumbling to himself.


* * *


Fabian filed his report on target ‘David Ramis’ which he had compiled through close surveillance of the subject. It was the final result of long endeavors. The introductory part of the report was personal information about the target. Age, family relations, friends, and so on and so forth. Hugo roughly skimmed through it.


“The target’s personality is undergoing various evaluations. Some people think he is a good person, and some people think he is a narrow-minded and cunning person.” (Fabian)


Reputation in the public was extreme. To the nobles that he got along with, David was a nice person, but to the people with low status such as servants or powerless nobles, David mostly had a bad reputation. Hugo had seen a lot of people whose outside was different from their insides, so he wasn’t really surprised.


Hugo read the dubious part concerning David in the report. Allegedly, a few years ago, David touched a maid and the maid got pregnant. Officially, the maid was said to have quit serving after receiving a reward. But the unofficial truth was different.


“You mean there is someone who claims that this maid is dead?”


“Yes. According to the maid who was her friend and worked with her, the woman suddenly disappeared with mentioning anything about leaving. The maid also said the woman wasn’t someone who would disappear without saying goodbye. Apparently, she looked strangely anxious a few days before she disappeared and her friend had heard her crying while pretending to be asleep.” (Fabian)


“What of the maid’s trail?” (Hugo)


“Because it’s an old incident, there is hardly anyone that remembers it. I went to her hometown but even the family didn’t have any news.” (Fabian)


“So there is no proof, only circumstantial evidence.” (Hugo)


If it was discovered that the heir to a Duke killed a maid, it was difficult to deal him a blow, let alone punish him. However, such cases were very important in figuring out the character of the other party. David was someone who could do more dangerous things than Hugo thought.


It was not uncommon for a noble to abuse or kill their servants under the pretext of punishment. But regardless of if they framed their servant for a crime, the fact that they killed the servant was revealed anyways. It was different from secretly killing the servant and disguising it as another fact.


“The father of the target was angry because of the incident with the maid. And after that, there was no touching of any maid in the mansion.” (Fabian)


“A leopard cannot change its spots. So he went to the brothels next?”


Hugo mumbled as he looked at the report.


“With his status, there must be a lot of women throwing themselves at him.” (Hugo)


“I investigated by asking around the prostitutes he spends the night with, and apparently, he has a sadistic hobby. He likes his partner to be completely submissive so he can deal with them as he pleases. I believe it would be difficult to find a noblewoman to fulfill such a hobby.”


Hugo was a little annoyed. Why did he need to know the sexual activities of this perverted crud? This meeting was held to see if there was any need to be on guard against the pathetic bastard even after investigating him.


As far as David’s personal details were concerned, he couldn’t care less. Hugo read the part detailing David’s recent enthusiastic gathering of people and chuckled.


“New Nation Youth Association? This lunatic.” (Hugo)


Was it that the man didn’t know how dangerous it was to add the word, ‘new nation’ to his organization? It was a good enough title to make one suspect that he had power-sweeping intentions to raise up a new country. There should be standards to some extent before using words. Hugo was suspicious about the man’s intelligence, maybe he was missing a few screws somewhere. 1


“So outwardly, the asserted purpose is to attract young talent. Is the organization really made with ulterior motive?” (Hugo)


“Rather than ulterior motive, it’s not faithful to its original purpose. The target is not just gathering young talents but young talents that follow him.”


“Basically, a gathering of pathetic bastards only.” (Hugo)


Trash is always trash, no matter how much you put together. Hugo couldn’t see any worth in paying attention to such an organization where the only thing ‘grand’ about it was the name.


“There are few areas that are worthy of attention. The target is positioned as president so he is practically leading the direction of the organization’s rules and activities. The specific details about that is written in the supplementary book.” (Fabian)


Hugo picked up the supplementary book that was next to him and looked over its contents. When he saw the content about David, Hugo sneered, ‘this fool’ and his somewhat bored expression turned stone cold.


The dangerous elements were hiding here.


The two biggest opposing forces of power were the King and the nobility. The King pushed for strengthening of royal authority, and the nobility pushed for the expansions of soldiers and the guarantee of autonomy over their territory. But among the nobles without territory or peerage, there was a third force that was dreaming.


They were mainly intellectuals such as scholars and insisted on national management by professional intellectuals. They said that through the introduction of a system, the King and high-ranking nobles should eliminate the way of gathering together to discuss national affairs, instead they should make laws and law-elected ministers should manage the country. They advocated legalism saying that even the King should have to follow the law.


The power of this group was still insignificant. Very few people were interested in their claims. But Hugo knew. He knew that their claims will grow stronger over time, and they would grow into a force that could not be ignored. It was knowledge he had gained from entering the secret room after becoming Duke.


A very long time ago, when the Madoh Empire ruled the world, from the standpoint of the normal humans, the nobles were as strong as monsters but the nobility were mortal beings that were similar in strength.


Apart from the fact that they used magical powers, they developed in a similar way to the world that humans have currently built. The nobles of the Empire were also divided into ranks and discriminated against each other; there were those who had more and those who had less. They were no different from the humans, they fought to have the upper hand and possess more than the other.


The emergence of a third force armed with knowledge but no real power also happened in the Madoh Empire. Some of their claims suited the King of the Madoh Empire who wanted to suppress the nobility.


When the King began to make use of this third force, they grew in strength, riding on the back of the King, and then one day, they separated from the King and formed their own force. When that time happened, nobody was be able to ignore them. The rise of a new force that was supported by the majority, ended up relatively weakening the royal authority as well as the authority of the existing nobles.


The knowledge in the family secret room gave the head of the Taran family the power to get a broad view of the world. Being able to roughly grasp the flow of the word wasn’t any different from being able to see the future.


The flow of the world could not be stopped. However, it could be slowed down artificially.


‘A fast development is troublesome.’


The heads of the Taran family never used the family knowledge to seek the development of the world. As long as the head of the Taran family remained master of the North, development was difficult. A kingdom with moderately strong royal authority was ideal. The more chaotic the human world was, the more progress was made in the flow of the world. Keeping the North alive and dealing with whatever issues the country had whenever it had it, was not a pointless thing for the Taran family. Because humans that were satisfied with the present did not seek change.


If it was the past Hugo, he would not have cared about this upcoming power. However thinking had changed. For Hugo, at least, until he died, the Taran family should be doing well and he wanted his heir, Damian, to smoothly enjoy the power and riches of the family.


“Find out more about these guys.” (Hugo)


“Yes, Sir. And there’s one more thing you need to know about the target. It’s in the last section of the report.” (Fabian)


Hugo picked up the report about David again and as he looked over it, his expression became strange.


“He put someone to follow my son?” (Hugo)


“Yes. It’s not simply shadowing, it seems to be a full-on investigation. We were careful not to let them know of our existence.”


Hugo fell into deep thought. He tried to figure out the intention of the Duke of Ramis.


‘It looks like Duke Ramis isn’t pleased with his eldest son. Maybe he plans on changing the successor.’


If all went well, it seemed like things would take care of themselves even if he didn’t do anything.


“Do I continue monitoring the target?” (Fabian)


“Don’t pull everyone out and if you see any odd behavior, report it.” (Hugo)


“Yes, Your Grace.”


“Good work. And try asking around for this item.”


Fabian accepted the paper that the Duke passed to him. He looked closely at the picture that was sketched on the paper and realized it was a pendant. It was uniquely shaped, different from commonly seen pendants.


Hugo had met with the Count once, unknown to Lucia. The asserted purpose of the meeting was the gate. He told the Count that he would take steps to ensure that the Count could use the gate whenever he wanted to come to the Capital and then he asked the Count about his real purpose which was the pendant.


[Are you interested in antiques?]


The Count wondered and asked.


[It seems like a precious item for my wife so I’m thinking of looking for it.] (Hugo)


The Count chuckled then he made a detailed sketch and even drew a picture of the pendant. Hugo wanted to look for the item and then surprise his wife with a gift. Since she missed her mother very much, she would love the gift. He was already feeling great when he thought of her happy face.


“If it has an owner, shall I simply bring back that information?”


“No. Use any means possible and bring it to me. You don’t have to report the process in the middle.”


Fabian replied in the affirmative and looked at the picture of the pendant again. It must be a great item seeing as the words ‘use any means possible’ came out from his lord’s mouth.


‘Is it a magical tool? If it’s the national treasure of another country, it’ll be a little annoying to steal.’


Translator’s Corner:


1. New Nation is one word in Korean (shinguk: μ‹ κ΅­). The word itself represents the ideology of a better, divine nation.↩
_________________
Lucia Chapter 87
LUCIA
C87

< — Memories of Mother — > (4)


David was called by the Duke of Ramis and went into his office. Because he entered with a light heart, he didn’t have time to avoid the thing that suddenly flew at his face.


“What the hell are you doing!”


As he listened to his father’s voice filled with rage, David blankly stared at the pile of documents that hit his face and fell to the floor. The hit to his face didn’t hurt much. But he was shocked because it was his first time being scolded in such a way.


“Who asked you to do this!”


David leaned forward and picked up one of the documents scattered on the floor. It was a list of names that he was familiar with. It was a list of the members of the ‘New Nation Youth Organization’ that David had created.


How did his father know about this group? That was one thing of itself; why was his father so angry? David couldn’t understand the current situation.


The ugly face of his father was filled with crumpled wrinkles and it was disgusting. Suppressed revulsion stirred in his stomach. David lowered his head to avoid revealing his humiliation from being struck by the documents and he clenched his teeth.


“I was wrong, father.” (David)


He had to apologize unconditionally, no questions asked. David bowed his head with a grave expression, and asked for forgiveness for a mistake that he didn’t know about yet.


“Why are you so rash about things.” (Duke Ramis)


‘Apologizing unconditionally’ always worked. The anger in his father’s voice lessened. As David slightly lifted his head, his father massaged his temples and let out a long sigh.


David picked up a few more documents from the floor. They contained information about the youth organization that he had made. It had a list of the members in it as well as the rules of the organization.


‘What’s the problem here?’


David didn’t know why his father was angry but if he said he didn’t know, he would be scolded more, so he only picked up the documents silently. He gathered them all and placed them on his father’s desk, then he stepped back and lowered his head. It was the image of a reflecting son.


“I did not know that the group I made with like-minded friends would cause father so much trouble. It was thoughtless of me.” (David)


“Like-minded friends? You mean recruiting people and acting as leader?” (Duke Ramis)


‘And what’s wrong with that?’ (David)


He didn’t know why his father was so upset. David had no doubts about his future as successor to his father who would become the future lord of the Duke of Ramis household and rise to rule over many people, standing beside the King and becoming a key figure in discussing important national matters.


David’s father always told him to lower his pride and look up from below. But David couldn’t understand his father’s excessive caution. To David, the people below him were as many as ants. What was the problem in practicing how to lead and manage them in advance?


But David would never let such words come out of his mouth. He wasn’t that stupid.


“I tried to make many friends to get along with like you always said.”


“David.”


The Duke of Ramis sighed. Outwardly, his son apologized but inwardly, he was being disobedient; the Duke was aware of his son being two-faced to some extent. Still, the Duke found solace in the fact that his son was showing an attitude of correction after being scolded.


The Duke wanted his son to see further in the world rather than looking down on the world. His son was only in his middle twenties. He was at a young age where he lacked knowledge and experience.



At the same age, a character like the Duke of Taran lacked nothing as the head of his family and he was the ‘happening’ individual of the century. An ordinary person shouldn’t try to compete with a genius in the same category. Let a genius go on his own way as a genius and just think that ‘such people exist, huh’ and laugh it off. However, the Duke was worried because his son seemed to keep showing immature rivalry towards the Duke of Taran.


The Duke wanted to give his eldest son a chance if possible. It was the proper way of things for the eldest son to take over the family. It was the precedent and caused the least room for confusion. Which is why even though the Duke kept discovering unreliable sides to his eldest son, he smoothed it over as passable.


“Do you really not know that this group you made could become a great seed of disturbance? ‘New nation’? How can you use such an outrageous name?”


David chewed his lips.


‘So that’s the problem.’


David had also thought that the name wasn’t good. However, Sir. Harry, vice president of the youth organization enthusiastically argued:


[Every word in the world can have the any opposite meaning depending on the interpretation. ‘New nation’. Isn’t it a name that conveys our willingness to embrace the accession and new reign of the new King? It is a well-known fact that His Majesty was not in a very good relationship with the late former King. We want to make a completely new nation that covers the shadow of the late King.]


Listening to his explanation, it sounded very reasonable.


“…We only use the name internally. On the outside, we just call it youth organization.” (David)


“It’s easy to find out with a little research. Didn’t you make the rules and refer to it as ‘New Nation Youth Organization’ in them?”


‘What you mean is, you investigated me.’


David felt both shock and a sense of betrayal. His father had looked into his affairs.


“I’m sorry, father. The meaning behind it was just that we would be of aid to His Majesty’s new reign.”


“No matter how good the intention is, it’s better to not provide an excuse. Haven’t your sister and I told you, that in politics there are cliffs at all sides so you should be careful and even more careful?”


“Yes, father. I will engrave your words deeply.”


“The forces opposing His Majesty are always looking for a gap. His Majesty could misunderstand you.”


David thought his father was worrying over nothing. Why would the King misunderstand? If he didn’t believe in a loyal family like the Duke Ramis family, who would be there to assist the King?


His father was the King’s father-in-law, and his sister was the Queen. His nephew would ascend the throne in the future. The Duke Ramis House was completely on the King’s side.*


“Yes, father. I will be more careful about my actions. I’ll take responsibility for the group and dismantle it.”


“Good. I’m relieved you understood my point. For the time being, go down to the territory.”


“Yes? Father!”


“You have to show that you are reflecting. Since I know of this, it is certain that someone else does too. It won’t be very long. Think of it as training for a year or two.”


David’s clenched fists trembled. He couldn’t disobey his father. Compared to his father, he was still very weak.


“When will I be leaving?” (David)


“Make preparations to leave by the end of this month.”


“Understood.”


As David was leaving with his head lowered, he heard his father’s mutterings.


“It would be nice if the two of them were mixed half-and-half. Robin is just meek…” (TN: Robin is the Duke’s second son)


David’s hand on the door handle tightened. He clamped his lips together and his jaw tightened harshly. Sparks flew from his eyes and he felt a sudden surge of rage from inside. He didn’t feel like he could control his expression at all and he was afraid his father might call him to a stop so he hurriedly left the office.


Translator’s thoughts:


* I just found this particular train of thought…odd(?). I mean all the more reason to be suspicious. The family has too much power. Hell, if they off the King, they can go on their merry way and become a royal house since their bloodline (the nephew) is future king. The King will be way more wary of them and the slightest sign of rebellious intent is going to be met with hellfire and thunderstorms…is he stupid? I mean, I’ve been looking at this situation objectively since Hugo is a very bias person but uhhh…


< — Memories of Mother — > (4)


‘Robin…’


As he walked down the hallway, David gnashed his teeth.


‘You probably think I don’t know, father.’


David knew the secret that his brother, who was despicably guarding his position as the second son of the ducal house as if he was someone of the legal line, was actually a child from outside.


When they were young, David’s mother only stood behind David. David thought it was just excessive affection for the eldest son because his mother also didn’t show much affection to his elder sister. So David felt a little sorry for his younger brother. It was a momentary feeling that he had when he was young and didn’t know anything.


On David’s 15-year-old birthday, a huge social debut party was held in the mansion. That night, his mother got very drunk although she had never done that before, and came to David’s bedroom. His mother confessed the truth to him while crying.


[David. My son. This mother of yours feels torn inside whenever I see that child.]


Robin was a child from another woman that his father loved. David heard that unlike other families that revealed their love child and raised them as an illegitimate child, his father made a request of his mother in order to raise Robin like a real son of the Duchess.


[That child is said to be two years younger that you but actually, he was born a few months later than you. When I was carrying you, that bitch was also carrying a child. Do you know how miserable I felt when I found about it?]


Because Robin’s real mother died after giving birth, the Duke of Ramis brought Robin back with him. And he asked his wife to raise up the boy up as her son. Robin grew up in a foreign country until he was seven years old. The story was that his body was weak but the truth was different.


After that event, two or three times a month, the Duchess would drink and look for David to dwell on her misfortune. David had not known that there was so much sorrow in his mother’s heart.


He felt for his mother who was unable to receive the love of his father. And he was heartbroken for his mother who was deeply distressed to be raising the son of another woman as if it were her own child. He hated his father, and he resented his elder sister who treated Robin without reserve, not knowing that he was their half-brother. As for Robin, David felt an unbearable anger.


‘It’s always been like this. Father’s eyes are different when he looks at that bastard.’


His father was only rebuking and strict to him but when he looked at Robin, he laughed heartily. The anger in David’s heart gradually grew more and more.


His mother passed away before she could see his sister become Queen. David was also heartbroken about that. Although the relationship between his mother and his sister was cold, his mother was secretly proud of his sister for becoming the Crown princess.


David knew that one day, his father would die and there was something that he wanted to do on the very day that he became Duke.


‘Robin. I will definitely offer your neck to my mother’s spirit and resolve her grudge.’


* * *


David went to a bar with the vice-chairman, Sir. Harry in order to discuss the dismantling of the youth organization and also drink to soothe his upset heart. It was a high-class bar with a private room made for keeping the confidentiality of their customers.


“It is such a shame to be disbanding this way. I mean, the organization is only just staring to make a place for itself, Sir. Ramis.”


“It can’t be helped. My father is making a fuss about it. And I have to leave the capital.”


“Then, if you leave it to me, I will lead the group without linking it to you, Sir. Ramis. Shouldn’t the foundation be strengthened while Sir. Ramis is away from the capital? You have to have a hidden power to use for the future.”


David was tempted. Sir. Harry’s words had some truth to it. It was a waste to throw away the group that he had managed to build up so far.


“Well then, I’ll leave it to you, Sir. Harry. I will give you my support so you can become my strength. You don’t know how glad I am to have a talented person like Sir. Harry by my side.”


“You overpraise me. Sir. Ramis is going to do great things in the future and I simply want to be of help.”


David laughed in good cheer and patted Harry’s shoulder.



Harry had a deeply grateful look on his face but inwardly, he was breathing a sigh of relief. Such a backer couldn’t be found anywhere else. There was no better condition than hiding behind the big name of the Duke’s heir and growing in power.


David wasn’t foolish but by default, he hated someone being above him. He liked it when the smart ones lowered their head. If you seized that point and properly humored his feelings, he was easy to handle.


“I’ve given it some thought and I don’t think my father went through the hassle of investigating me. It’s definitely someone trying to slander me.”


“What you’re saying is reasonable. Do you have any guess or suspects?”


“I can only think of the Duke of Taran. That guy has been secretly vigilant against me for a long time.”1


Had the Duke of Taran gone crazy to take a Duke’s heir who was nothing but a greenhorn as an opponent? Harry sneered at David’s unfounded pride. But on the surface, he earnestly showed his agreement.


Hearing Harry’s comfort and praise, David felt much better. When David was done drinking and was about to get up from his seat, an employee delivered a note to him.


‘Why does the bar owner want to see me?’


David sent Harry off and waited for a bit. The door to the room opened and seeing the person coming into the room, David’s eyes grew wide. Unexpectedly, it was an enchanting young beauty. The woman’s lips curled as she gave David a soft smile.


“It is an honor to meet your distinguished personage. I am called Anita.”


______________
Lucia Chapter 88
LUCIA
C88

< — Memories of Mother — > (5)


Translated by: Miss Ruby


Edited by: ShadowDog


Lucia sluggishly rose to the sound of the maid waking her up. It was still dark outside. Yesterday, she told the maid to wake her up before her husband went out.


Lucia stretched, struggling to get rid of the sleepiness, and came down from the bed. While thinking that he was truly amazing to be able to wake up at the crack of dawn everyday like this, she shook her head back and forth. She washed her face, changed her clothes, and drank a glass of cold water to sober up.


“Is he in his bedroom?” (Lucia)


“Master is in his office. He plans to leave in about an hour, so the carriage is being prepared.” (Jerome)


Lucia took over the tea tray that Jerome was going to carry to his office.


“I apologize for taking your job as the butler.” (Lucia)


“Not at all, Milady.” (Jerome)


According to Jerome, there was no need to knock and she could just go inside, so Lucia quietly entered his office.


The air in his office was cool and the smell of antique furniture wafted through the air. There was a large desk located diagonally from the door, and the image of him sitting behind the desk and engrossed in his work came into sight.


Lucia stopped at a distance where she could see him in greater detail. The only thing that could be heard in the quiet office was the soft sound of pages turning.


The spacious desk was packed with a lot of things as if the tiniest gap could not be tolerated. They weren’t scattered randomly instead, the documents and books were lined up and ordered in their own way. The only area on the desk that could be called free space, was the width in front of him which he was using for handling the documents.


It was Lucia’s first time seeing him working. It was also her first time coming to his office with tea in her hands.


When they were in the north, she didn’t go into his office because there were a lot of confidential documents in there and she didn’t want people to be suspicious of her and think that she was going into his office to see such things. In addition, even without those suspicions, she was afraid that she would disturb his work so she didn’t go anywhere near his office.


The way he looked while concentrating on his work was really cool. Lucia’s heart began to race and her face grew flushed. She felt too sorry to interrupt him while he was concentrating on his work. She was fine with just standing there and looking at him.


The peacefulness of the calm morning where one could hear the refreshing sound of birds singing far away was also enjoyable.


* * *


Hugo was always sensitive to the signs of people approaching, no matter what he was focused on. The brutal days of his childhood, and his life on the battlefield had taught him to always be alert of his surroundings. He thought it was Jerome coming in as always and didn’t pay any more attention to it. He sensed someone coming in but there was no sign of them approaching him. Puzzled, he looked up, and couldn’t help but doubt his own eyes. Meeting his eyes, she gave him a shy smile as if she was embarrassed.


“…Vivian?”


It was a difficult time and place to expect to see her. Her figure which was approaching him with a smile was definitely real. Hugo continued to hold his pen and absentmindedly watched her as she place the tea tray on his desk.


“I hope I didn’t interrupt you.” (Lucia)


Lucia lifted the teapot and poured tea into the cup. She took the steaming cup of tea and placed it within his reach.


“No.”


Hugo quickly answered.


“I’d like to have a word with you. It won’t take long.” (Lucia)



It’s fine if it takes long. Hugo thought to himself as he nodded. The complicated plans and thoughts that were giving him a headache just a minute ago had all disappeared as if they were blown away by the wind. It would be slightly troublesome to create the loop of thoughts again, but it didn’t matter.


“Today is your birthday.” (Lucia)


“…Birthday?” (Hugo)


Seeing his expression as if he was hearing something bizarre, Lucia was convinced that as expected, he didn’t remember.


“The butler said that you do not celebrate your birthday. I don’t know, maybe you don’t want to remember it.”


Birthday.


Hugo had never give that word any meaning in his life. When he was young, he didn’t know when his birthday was, and after coming to Roam, he learnt of his brother’s birthday and judged that since they were twins, their birthday would be the same, hence he figured out the day he was born.


While acting as the young lord in place of his twin brother, he got birthday meals, but to him, that was the Young Lord Hugo’s birthday. He had never thought of it as really celebrating his birthday.


After becoming the Duke, he did not celebrate his birthday. Even if someone tried to remind him about it, he would refuse. Some time after his birthday was the anniversary of his brother’s death. He was more concerned about that day than his birthday. So at some point, he had completely forgotten that he had something like a birthday.


“I want to celebrate your birthday.” (Lucia)


Lucia was always bothered by the fact that his first birthday simply passed by when they were in the north after they got married. She felt bad because she thought that the reason why he didn’t celebrate his birthday was related to his tragic family history.


Anyone can be hurt in their life, big or small. He was a strong person but even if he was strong, he could still get hurt and experience pain.


Lucia was very hurt in her dream, and more than the pain, the hardest thing was that there was no one there to comfort her and say, ‘you’re hurt, aren’t you?’. Lucia wanted to be the person that would give him such comfort.


“This is my present.”


Lucia picked up the small box that she had put on the tea tray, placed it on the desk and pushed it towards him.


Hugo took turns looking at her face and at the gift box. The blood flowing through his veins was a curse. His birthday was the beginning of that curse. But his birth could be celebrated. It was a very strange feeling.


“No! Don’t look at it now.”


Hearing her cry, Hugo who was reaching out for the gift paused.


“Do it later. When I’m not there. My present isn’t much so…I’m embarrassed.” (Lucia)


Following Jerome’s advice, Lucia embroidered his name on a cotton handkerchief. She didn’t start the embroidery with the purpose of giving it to him as his birthday present. One piece seemed so empty, so she made one more, then she thought that three was better than two, and when she finished the condensed handkerchief of three, she realized that his birthday was approaching.1


“There is no such thing for gifts.”2 (Hugo)


“Still. Look at it later.” (Lucia)


It was unseemly for a birthday present. Lucia’s face burned at the thought that he might be disappointed. Would it have been better to just give it to him as a meaningless item rather than giving it to him as a birthday present?


Hugo chuckled seeing the indecisiveness on her face.


“Alright. I’ll look at it when you’re not there.”


“It’s because I had no idea what to do for your birthday present. I would be giving you a present with your own money.”


Hugo found her thoughts amusing and smiled. A substantial budget was set aside every year for the family’s Lady of the House. That money was undoubtedly the Lady of the House’s private asset. However, she still thought of that money as just public fund. Actually, public fund was the right expression. It was the principle of things to return the budget that remained by the end of the year.


However, there was no noblewoman that returned their budget. The jewelry purchased during a Lady of the House’s marriage belonged to that Lady of the House. When a divorced happened, they were able to take away all the jewelry without including it in the alimony. That was why the jewelry stores were usually crowded at the end of the year.


The fact that she returned a considerable amount of the budget last year had shocked him. At the time, he fretfully thought that she hated his money and thus refused it, but now he knew that she was originally such a person.


“Hugh. Your birthday, the day you were brought into this world, deserves to be celebrated. I want you to have a meaningful birthday.”


Hugo stood up and approached her in one stride, pulling her into his arms. It was the first and best present of his life.


“Thank you.” (Hugo)


Hugo clutched her tighter as emotions welled up in his chest. The warmth that filled his arms also made his heart feel warm. He buried his nose in her neck, enjoying her scent mixed with the faint scent of tea whirling in the air.


“I’ll stop disturbing you and go now.” (Lucia)


“It’s fine with me.” (Hugo)


Lucia barely managed to pull away from his sticky hold and left the office.


Seeing the closed office door, Hugo was very disappointed. Even though he said it was okay, she still left.


He looked at his hands, remembering the feeling of her body that was held gently in his arms. Really, what a heartless woman. It was always just him who wanted to hug and touch her a little while longer.


He heaved a long sigh, sweeping a hand through his hair. He didn’t know if he could get back to work. His wife’s sudden appearance in the morning had shaken him completely and his thoughts had gone out the window. Today was going to be a very long day.


Translator’s Corner:


1. I think she sews three pieces of cotton together. It’s honestly not very clear.


2. He’s saying that there is no rule when it comes to gifts. A gift is a gift.


< — Memories of Mother — > (5)


Translated by: Miss Ruby


Edited by: ShadowDog


While lamenting to himself, Hugo turned around and went back to his desk. Then he noticed the gift that she left behind.


He wondered what kind of gift it was for her to tell him not to look at it when she was around. Curiosity rose to replace the sense of loss he felt from her disappearance and his mood brightened a little.


He sat on his chair and untied the ribbon around the box. After opening the box and looking inside, he quietly stared at its content. Inside the box was a beautifully folded snow-white handkerchief. He picked up the handkerchief. The rough texture of cotton on his fingertips was a familiar feeling to him. He stared at the name embroidered on the corner of the handkerchief for a while.


Hugo leaned down and opened up the lowest drawer of his desk. And he took out the handkerchief that was valuably stored inside.


A flower-embroidered handkerchief that was embroidered with slightly clumsy skill. And a handkerchief with his name embroidered on it.


He put the two pieces side by side. With folded arms, he looked at the two handkerchiefs spread out on the table.


His heart felt like it was being tickled but his stomach was churning. He felt like he had touched something squishy that flared up when it was touched. Hugo couldn’t explain what he was feeling. It was an emotion he was feeling for the first time in his life. It wasn’t breathtaking, his heart was beating faster and he felt like he had a vague hold of it.


Hugo went over each of the human emotions that he knew about in his mind. The feelings that he knew of by dictionary definition but had never felt before. It took him a long time to find the word that matched his current feelings.


Touched. Was this the feeling of being ‘touched’? Do people usually live feeling like this? For the first time, Hugo envied the people who enjoyed ordinary emotions like laughing and crying. It was an unbelievably pleasant feeling.


When he heard a knock on his door, Hugo packed up the handkerchiefs and stored them in his drawer. Jerome came in.


“We are ready to head out. Fabian is waiting in front of the carriage, Your Grace.” (Jerome)


Hugo thought for a moment then stood up.


“Tell him to come in and wait.” (Hugo)


Jerome bowed his head in response to his master who walked past him and left the office. Jerome walked up to the desk to tidy up the tea tray. Seeing as the teacup was full, his master didn’t drink from it and when he opened the lid of the teapot, there was cold tea left inside.


‘He must have been too busy to even drink tea.’


It wasn’t an isolated incident, so Jerome didn’t think anything of it and took care of the tea tray.


* * *


Lucia sat on the bedroom sofa, using her free time to embroider more handkerchiefs for Damian. She could tell the passage of time from the length of the morning sunlight entering her bedroom. She felt like she was being very productive because she was doing something at such an early hour.


She finished one piece and carefully examined it. She had embroidered Damian’s name so many times already, so it looked very neat.


‘I certainly have no talent for embroidery.’


Even though she had been embroidering for quite the long time, her skill in embroidery didn’t increase. It only improved because she was embroidering the same thing, if she changed the pattern, her clumsy skill would show again.


When she thought of the handkerchief that she gave him, she felt embarrassed. His name was an unfamiliar pattern, so the completion didn’t look that skillful.


“Bring me a glass of water.”


She told the maid that was sitting in the corner. When a glass suddenly appeared from above her head, Lucia was surprised at the maid’s rudeness and lifted her head. Arms came from behind the sofa and wrapped around her shoulders. It was a familiar feeling and scent.


“Hugh.”


“You’re working hard this morning.”


Lucia took the glass of water and put the needlework in her hand into the basket next to her.


‘He has seen the gift.’


Her face burned and she gulped down the water. She deliberately gave him the gift in the morning because if she gave it to him in the evening, it would have been too embarrassing to see his face right after. She felt embarrassed because he didn’t know her plans and came straight to her afterwards.


“You’re so devoted to the boy.” (Hugo)


“…Yes?” (Lucia)


“What good is a child? They’re all just ‘I’m finding my way in life’.”


Lucia burst into laughter. He sounded like an old man who was feeling the shortness of time after working hard to raise his child all this time.


“I’m doing your share too. Because you don’t show much interest.” (Lucia)


“You shouldn’t smother the boy too much.” (Hugo)


“I don’t smother him that much. Are you going out now?”


Lucia peeled off his arms thar were wrapped around her from behind and stood up from the sofa. She had never sent him off at such an early hour unless he was leaving rather late. She couldn’t do it every day, but sometimes, she wondered if she should give it a try. At some point while Lucia was pondering, he had walked in front of her.


“Vivian.”


Before she could reply, he pulled her by the waist, took the back of her neck and pressed his lips onto hers. He sucked on her lower lip and through the crack of her lips, he invaded her mouth deeply. His tongue coiled around her tongue as they came into contact. Her fingertips felt electrified. Lucia let out a small moan and her hands which were on his chest trembled.


His tongue retreated for a moment then reached for her throat, sweeping over the roof of her mouth. Lucia couldn’t think straight because of the sudden deep kiss. She was caught in his arms and could only step backwards as he led.


He leaned over, continuing to kiss her as she pressed against the sofa and plunked down on the seat. He towered over her as if he was half-leaning on her.


Lucia wrapped her arms around his neck. It was a deep kiss that caressed every corner of her mouth. It caused the heat in her body to rise and stimulated her desire. It was not a fresh kiss to say goodbye. It was the seduction of a man longing for a woman.


She got up early, so her exhausted body had loosened up. Every corner of the room was clearly visible with the bright morning light and because of the unexpected tackling of the man in front of her, Lucia was both flustered and heated up. His erotic kiss easily made her thoughts collapse.


His lips touched the rim of her ear, went under her chin and moved down her neck. When his hand grabbed her breast over her clothes, her body flinched.


“Hugh. You have to…you have to go out.”


“My schedule was postponed.”


If the Fabian who was waiting heard this sentence, he would have grabbed somebody by the neck.


* * *


“Why the hell isn’t he coming down? We can barely make it even if we leave now.”


Fabian paced around Jerome’s office, unable to sit still for even a moment.


“Is it an important schedule?”


“There is no schedule that isn’t important!”


‘There is also no schedule that can’t be cancelled,’ thought Jerome.


“You know this isn’t my job, don’t be like this. Go up and bring him down.” (Fabian)


Jerome slowly drank his tea as if he didn’t hear a single word. It was a change of pace and a relaxing time for the always busy butler. Jerome enjoyed the leisureness of the morning.


“When the both of them are in the bedroom, nobody goes up to the second floor.”


“Why?”


Do you really have to ask? Seeing the weird look Jerome was giving him, Fabian’s face grew red-hot and he fumed.


“Hey! Aish seriously. I’ll go and bring him down myself!” (Fabian)


“Then, I need to inform sister-in-law.” (Jerome)


“Why?”


“To prepare flowers for your funeral.”


Fabian’s face became distorted. He stalked off to the door with a seething expression. Jerome was worried that he might really have to hold his brother’s funeral and asked, “Where are you going?”


“Going to handle the cancelled schedule!”


Fabian noisily banged the door as he left.


“That guy, his temper is getting worse. He isn’t like that to sister-in-law, is he?”


Jerome mumbled to himself as he leisurely drank his remaining tea.



______________
Lucia Chapter 89
LUCIA
C89

< — Memories of Mother — > (6)


Hugo’s hand climbed up her ankles to her calf, reaching beneath her skirt and groping around her thigh. And in one go, he pulled down the few layers of underwear she wore underneath her skirt, which was her chemise and her pant. He stripped off her underwear from below her knee and threw it to the floor.


As her lower body suddenly got breezy, Lucia wrung her legs together. His hand burrowed into her firmly shut thighs.


“Hnn…”


Lucia didn’t know what to do in this sudden situation. There were times when he flirted on the bed and extended their night affair into the morning. But this was the first time that he was jumping on her like this. She was both surprised and embarrassed, then again, she was also getting more excited.


While his lips bothered her neck, his hand entered into her clothes and kneaded her breast. His other hand rubbed her dewy tender flesh. His fingers rubbed against her vaginal entrance which was slippery with love juice, and entered inside. He went in and out several times, shallowly penetrating inside. The movements of his finger produced wet frictional sounds.


“Ah!”


When his finger touched somewhere, Lucia grabbed his shirt and squeezed it. He took his lips away from kissing her neck and lifted his head. Lucia looked at him with reddish, heated-up eyes. In the bright light, his red eyes looked much more clearer. The fire burning in his eyes seemed as if it would swallow her whole. His fingers stopped groping inside of her and slid out of her vagina.


Hugo took her by the arm, hugged her to his body, sat on the sofa and sat her down on his thigh. He let her head rest on his shoulder then he unfastened the buttons on her back. He was very impatient, but he still had room to enjoy the slightly annoying process of undoing her buttons.


He only loosened the buttons leading to her waist then he stripped her upper body. He peeled off her thin sleeve-less underwear. Then he grabbed her other underwear, which was covering her bulging breasts and pulled it down. He took her exposed bouncing breast into his mouth, swallowing it in one gulp.


“Ah…”


His hand held her waist as he bit into her breast. He rolled his tongue around the tip of her stiffened nipple and clamped down on it with his lips then rubbed it with a little force.


Lucia hugged his head with her arms and panted. Her back was covered in goosebumps. Her body tingled from head to toe as if it was going numb. His tongue moved as if it would dig through the tip of her nipple causing her to moan. Her lower abdomen squeezed painfully, and hot liquid flowed from her spring.


He lifted his body and took down his trousers. Then he grabbed her by the hips and pulled her closer. He grabbed her thighs, lifted her body up slightly, then he held his member and moved it little by little beneath her. He had to rely on his senses because her lower body was covered by her skirt and he couldn’t see anything.


Lucia was moving her hand on his shoulder when a certain hot thing touched the delicate area between her legs, startling her and her body stiffened. Feeling the tip of his manhood touching her petite entrance, he pulled her down slowly, sitting her onto his embodiment. His hot flesh opened her narrow door, finding a path and entering inside.


“Hk…”


“Huu…”


Their lower bodies were completely connected. Hugo hugged her body with both arms and buried his head in her bosom. Her tight inside was smooth and hot. The pleasure was enough to drown him. His lower abdomen throbbed like it was in pain. Inside of her, his core was thumping like a heartbeat. He clenched his teeth in worry and hugged her tighter.



* * *


“Ah…haa…”


Lucia was exhausted and gasped for breath. Her whole body was soaked with sweat and slippery. On her lower body, the semen he poured inside her was flowing along her thighs and buttocks. As Lucia lay face down on the bed, he bit her neck. Even the pain turned to pleasure and her whole body trembled with excitement.


Like an herbivore caught by the throat, Lucia was unable to rebel and offered her body to him. His hand grabbed her butt roughly. Since the path between her legs was already loosened, his erect rod didn’t lose any momentum and went straight in.


“Hn… Ng.”


The smell of his body mixed with sweat and the pungent smell of chestnut blossoms filled the room. Lucia’s vision flickered, causing her to close her eyes and then slowly open them.


He pressed his arms against the bed, thrusting into her with quick, short motions. Lucia moaned whenever the tip of his rod penetrated her. She was rendered breathless by the endless, continuous stimulation.


It was a bright morning with a clear view of the wrinkled sheets. The bedroom with all the curtains open was too bright. The fact that she was doing this kind of thing with him this morning, brought her unknown sense of guilt. It was such a depraved way of living.


“Hugh. What time is it…”


“I wonder.”


His large hands grabbed her hips, pulling her body upwards and towards him. Her cheeks that were touching the sheets were dragged along, causing friction. He moved backwards, pulling out the part of him that filled up her body. The sensation of him slowly pulling out from her body caused her to shudder. Her waist reflexively twitched.


He ruthlessly slammed into her as if wanting to split her body into two and the sound of their flesh slapping together resounded through the room.


“Ah!”


“We have a lot of time, Vivian. You don’t have to fret.”


Hugo huskily whispered in her ear. Their breathing was in sync as they panted and their bodies dragged along the sheet causing it to crinkle. The sound of wet flesh slapping together was shudderingly erotic.


“Who…hn…is fretting…”


“Your body is. Do you know how erotic your inside is? It’s clamping down on me.”


The folds of her narrow, supple flesh pressing against his penis stimulated him to no end. His wife’s body always drove him crazy. He felt more than just physical pleasure, he felt a sense of fullness. When he held her, there was no sense of emptiness after the pleasure of climax. The satisfaction was akin to filling up an empty stomach that had experienced long starvation.


Lucia couldn’t refute his words. Although it was too much and exhausting, her body reacted to him non-stop. Sex with him was always pleasurable and tormenting. The pleasure he gave was utterly difficult to deny.


As he drilled into her over and over again, the slowly climbing wave of pleasure became a huge tidal wave and swept her away. Her vision went hazy and her consciousness went dark. All the hairs on her body stood up.


“Aaaah!!”


Her whole body trembled as she screamed, and she could hear him groaning from behind her. She reached her climax, and his rigid penis recklessly moved in her inner walls, invading her several times.


Lucia couldn’t even scream properly at the immense pleasure that seemed to have turned her brain into mush. Her mouth hung open and she trembled. After going at it intensely, he uttered a guttural moan. Hot semen gushed into her womb. Although she had experienced it many times, it was still a strange feeling. Lucia recoiled and gasped for breath.


Her inner walls squeezed tightly, and he pulled out his huge penis from her pressuring innards. He took her by the arm and her body was powerlessly turned around. When she unintentionally lowered her gaze, she saw his penis positioned at her center, glistening with cum and already standing up again.


‘…Ah…I’m done for.’


< — Memories of Mother — > (6)


Lucia made a long face and turned her head away. He grabbed her chin, turning her to face him and covered her open lips with his own. He sucked on her lips and swiftly invaded her mouth with his tongue, ravaging every corner of it. Every time his tongue brushed against hers, she felt a sense of thrill course through her fingertips.


As a finishing touch, he loudly kissed and sucked on her lower lip then he lowered his head to bite her neck. He didn’t bite very hard so it didn’t hurt and only stung as he sucked on it.


“Ng. Hugh. The neck marks…” (Lucia)


Apart from their early days of marriage in the north, he did his best not to leave marks in visible places such as her neck because she didn’t like it.


“Stay at home until it disappears.” (Hugo)


“Why are you like this, seriously. You’re getting more and more unreasonable.” (Lucia)


Hugo put his hand around her back to support her as she criticized him and lifted her exhausted body. He took her arms and placed them around his neck. He perched Lucia on his thighs, bringing her close enough that he could feel her breath. He kissed her tiredly drooping eyelids as if he was persistently pecking at them.


“I’m getting more unreasonable?” (Hugo)


“You’re doing more of what I don’t want to show to the servants, aren’t you?” (Lucia)


“Hmm. Do you want me to show you what real unreasonableness is?”


“This is what I mean by unreasonable!”


When he smiled, Lucia glared at him. He cupped her face with hands and kissed her nose.


“Hugh. Are we done?”


“Mm. Not yet.”


She meant they should stop but he tried to outsmart her. Speechless, she pushed against his chest and twisted her waist. Rather than stopping her, he grabbed both of her thighs and lifted them. Lucia gave up and leaned on his shoulder.


His firm rod was sucked into her as her vaginal walls opened to receive him. Her head flinched reflexively, bring her mind into focus. A tingling sense of pleasure ran up her spine. Even though she was so tired that she couldn’t lift a finger, it was harder for her when her body was reacting wholeheartedly.


“Ah…Ung…”


Every time he bounced his waist, her body shook up and down. With her arms around his neck, Lucia let out a groan. She was shaken up and down several times, then her body fell back onto the bed again. As she lay on her side, he thrust in deeply between her overlapping legs and stirred up her insides.


“Hng.”


Due to being shaken countless times, she felt like everything was spinning around her. Despite that, her inner walls squeezed his thing and aggressively reacted to him. Like this, it was embarrassing to even tell him to stop.


He grabbed her thin ankles and spread them apart. As she lay facing him, a heavy pressure pushed its way inside her. Quick, shallow insertions followed.


Lucia was out of energy and she couldn’t lift a finger, yet the stimulations kept on coming. With misty eyes, she looked at his strong, muscular body that was glistening with sweat. The eyes of the man craving for her was filled with overflowing desire.


Lucia felt happy about his passionate want for her. Her lower abdomen throbbed and squeezed tighter. He shut his eyes with a frown. The sight was sexy to her, and her stimulated insides tightened again. He winced for a moment, swallowing a groan and then began to move again.


While moaning weakly, Lucia repeatedly travelled to the threshold between sleepiness and alertness. And at some point, she fell asleep.


* * *


Lucia opened her eyes, feeling lazy and warm. Clouds of steam were drifting in the air and warm water was lapping against her chest. A wide chest with firm muscles was pressed against her back and an arm was wrapped around her waist, supporting her body. Lucia blinked, trying to grasp the situation around her. He was holding her and sitting inside the bathtub.


“Hugh. What…time is it now?”


“I don’t know. Why do you keep asking for the time?”


Hugo gently kissed the back of her neck. He continued planting kisses from neck to her shoulder.


“Aren’t you going out today?”


“Do you want me to go out?”


His voice sounded sour so Lucia checked to see his expression and laughed.


“I mean, a busy person like you is relaxing with nothing planned, so I’m wondering.”


“I chose today as my free day.”


Fabian was currently sweating buckets and working hard to smooth things over with the canceled itinerary. Hugo didn’t feel sorry for the troubled Fabian at all. It was his subordinate’s job. If he didn’t have this much authority, then what was the benefit of enduring a life where he worked day and night?


Hugo grabbed her breast with his hand that was holding her waist and twisted her sensitive nipple with his fingers. His other hand slipped between her legs.


Lucia’s body twitched and shook every time she was stimulated by his touch. He squeezed her chest with both of his hands, caressing them as he trailed kisses along her back. As she moaned faintly, Lucia lifted her chin and leaned the back of her head against his shoulder. She closed her eyes and let herself sink into his erotic caresses.


Hugo turned his head to the side and kissed her lips. After licking her lips a few times, he slightly bit and sucked her lower lip then he pushed his tongue into her open mouth.


He leisurely stroked every corner of her mouth with his tongue. Their tongues entangled back and forth and their lips moved, clinging to each other as if they wanted to swallow each other whole. He wove his tongue deeper into her mouth, and repeatedly sucked on her lips. When they were almost breathless, the long kiss came to an end and his hands that were kneading her breasts went down to lift her by the waist.


‘Ah…’


His erect penis slowly entered through her vaginal walls. The feeling was slightly dull because they were in the water, but when he entered all the way to the hilt and she sat down on his thighs, the place deep inside of her body tingled and ached. The filling pressure from below was already making her breathless, then he lifted his waist.


“Hng.”


Her body tilted forward and his arms caught her, holding her across the chest. She clung to his arms and her body shook up and down every time he bobbed his waist. The water surface splashed against her body.


“Ah!”


He began to thrust upwards faster. Perhaps because of the heat from the water, Lucia felt worn out instantly. Letting out a moan that was more like a scream, Lucia leaned on his arms and shook senselessly.


Suddenly, he pulled out and picked her by the waist and shoulders. He turned her to face him and stood up with her in his arms. Feeling anxious from being in the air, she wrapped her arms around her neck and as soon as she wrapped her legs around his waist, his penis pierced her from below.


“Haak!”


His hard member repeatedly penetrated her, ravaging her body. His strong grip held her butt tight, and he repeated his movements without pause. Her willful inner walls squeezed his thing tight and spasmed as it clamped down on him. Chills crept up her back and a shuddering sense of pleasure struck her entire body.


“Ang!”


She mewled as her body trembled in climax and he also moaned and ejaculated into her. Still clinging to his neck, Lucia continued to breath heavily. As the both of them were still connected, the fluids from inside her flowed down his thigh.


He sat back down in the bathtub with her in his embrace. Lucia leaned on his chest, feeling the buoyancy of the warm water rising to her chest and she closed her eyes.


“I can’t do it anymore.”


When he didn’t reply, she opened her eyes and lifted her head.


“Hugh!”


He chuckled and kissed her lightly on the lips.


“How about tonight after you get some sleep?”


“You really have no conscience!”


Lucia shrieked. Seeing him snickering, she didn’t even have energy to get angry so she just leaned on his body again. She felt him planting light kisses on her face but even that was tiring now. Lucia closed her eyes, not reacting to anything like a dead person and fell asleep again.

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Lucia Chapter 90
LUCIA
C90

< — I love you — > (1)


Having received the trust of the Duke who was a high-ranking noble, Fabian was the ideal for his subordinates and a subject of respect.


Hugo found it annoying to instruct people about everything, so he tended to leave things in the hands of fewer people. Therefore, Fabian handled a lot more important work compared to his position.


Although the Duke of Taran gave a lot of work, he wasn’t one to torment his subordinates. He was a very decent master. If he entrusted someone with something, he didn’t interfere in the middle and if one made a tolerable mistake, acknowledged it and asked for forgiveness, he would let it pass. But in exchange, there was no second chance if your results failed to meet his criteria. You would just be cleanly relieved of your duties. Perhaps it was even scarier that way.


In that sense, Fabian was talented to have preserved his position for so long. And he was a rather infamous boss. It was said that if you endured three years under Fabian, you would get gray hair and wrinkles in proportion to your increase in work ability.


With his legs on the table and half lying down on his chair in an arrogant posture, Fabian received the reports from his subordinates. Subordinate-1 gave his report.


“There is no problem with the target.” (S-1)


Subordinate-1’s target was Anna, former doctor of the Ducal household. Anna was under watch to see if she was keeping to the confidentiality contract. Recently, Anna had been raking in money with the production of a headache medicine.


Fabian nodded as he looked at the brief report on Anna’s routine, “You may go now.” Subordinate-1 left and the next person came in.


Subordinate-2’s target was the Countess of Falcon. The woman whom Fabian simply disliked unconditionally. The day when he visited the Countess of Falcon to give her a warning on his lord’s behalf was simply refreshing.


“There is no specific movement from the target. Nowadays, it is seldom for the target to run around because of business issues. She is dedicated to running the few bars that she owns.” (S-2)


Fabian looked through the report. There was nothing remarkable apart from the fact that the Countess of Falcon practically lived in her bar from morning till night. While attracting customers by being an active hostess, the bar was doing better than before.


“You may go now.” (Fabian)


The next person entering was subordinate-3 and his target was David.


“The target is preparing to leave the capital soon. As of late, there is no remarkable activity apart from stopping at a bar every evening.” (S-3)


“A bar, huh… is there anyone he’s seeing at this bar?” (Fabian)


“He’s going alone. There is no one accompanying him.”


Fabian scrutinized the report.


“Is he depressed and drowning himself in alcohol?”


After reading the part about David going to the bar everyday, Fabian furrowed his brows. The name of the bar looked familiar. He opened the report regarding the Countess of Falcon and checked the bar that she owned. It was the same bar.


‘Is it a coincidence?’


The Countess of Falcon had a talent for liquor business. She had several bars that handles customers according to levels determined by their status and wealth, and they were all prevailing. The bars were completely owned by the Countess so even when she had lost the investment, there was no damage to them. The bar that David visited frequently was a high-class bar which was a favorite of nobles. However, something was suspicious.


“Find out who the target is in contact with at the bar. Report what he talks about with the staff too.” (Fabian)



“Yes, sir.” (Subordinate-3)


After that, Fabian heard the reports of his subordinates one after another. This was the time he was most rewarded for his work.


* * *


Fabian stopped by the ducal residence to give an interim report on the people that Hugo asked him to pay special attention to.


David had officially withdrawn from his group and the Vice-Chairman of the group, Baron Harry, took up the presidency and retained the youth association. He changed the name of the group to ‘Future Youth’s Association’ and it remained almost identical to the established group except for some slight changes such as a few members leaving.


After looking at the report that documented the personal information of all the members of the youth association, Hugo said,


“That bastard is still supporting the group.”


David withdrew but still funded the youth association informally.


“Yes. His aide met with the target and handed over the funds.”


Hugo thought, ‘It seems a dog was born from a tiger.’ He didn’t know how such a son came out from the Duke of Ramis.


“He went down to the Ramis fief, I believe?” (Hugo)1


“Yes. He left a few days ago.” (Fabian)


David would return to the capital one day but for the time being, he had disappeared, so Hugo didn’t plan to pay David any more attention. It would be a waste of time. For now, he was going to carefully watch the activities of several people in the group, including Harry who was leading it. If an opportunity arose, he planned to make good use of it and get rid of them completely.


“Keep watching the activities of the group and keep track of the key figures in the group.” (Hugo)


“Yes, Your Grace. I did not include this in the report, but I have something to inform you. Before the target went down to the fief, he visited a bar almost every day. That bar is owned by the Countess of Falcon.” (Fabian)


Hugo looked over the report again and lifted his gaze. An unexpected person had appeared.


The Countess of Falcon? Hugo had already forgotten about her a long time ago. He hadn’t thought about her since he ordered for his investment to be pulled out from her business.


Among all the women Hugo had met, the Countess of Falcon was the most faithful to her desire. She acknowledged that their meeting each other was simply based on desire. She was a woman that understood to put distance and didn’t become clingy. There was no way Hugo could guess the darkness that was currently in the Anita’s heart because of her resentment towards the Duchess.


“Did they meet?” (Hugo)


“Rather than a private meeting, it was relationship between a customer and the owner of a bar. A feature of the bar is to provide a private room for each customer. When the Count of Ramis arrives, Countess Falcon enters the room for about an hour or two before leaving. I was unable to find out what was being talked about in the room.” (Fabian)


“Did they spend the night together?” (Hugo)


“There was no such instance. The Countess visited all the rooms where a VIP customer or a regular of the bar looked for her. There were quite a lot of people that came to the bar to have a conversation with the Countess. She’s apparently a good talker.” (Fabian)


“So, saying that it is not in the report, means that there is nothing to report.”


“…Yes.”


Simply looking at the circumstantial evidence, David and Anita were just customer and bar owner. A witch gifted in bewitching people like Anita would easily be able to comfort David who was upset at being chased down to the fief and make him her regular customer.


The both of them never met at any place other than the bar. According to the person with sharp eyes who was planted there, although Anita always went into David’s room after he came, there was no evidence of sexual contact between the two of them in the private room. They were really just talking.


Before Fabian could attempt to figure out what they were talking about, David left for the fief. There would be no more visits to the bar. In addition, Fabian couldn’t think of any plot that the two of them could be cooking up.


If Fabian knew of the crush that David had on the Duchess, or of the hideous jealousy in Anita’s heart, he might have been able to widen the scope of possible troubles. But Fabian knew neither of those. Because Lucia had rejected David’s love letter in a hallway with no one to see, the incident did not spread and become a rumor.


“Something about it must be bothering you.” (Hugo)


“There is no rational basis, but yes.” (Fabian)


Hugo trusted Fabian’s capability. Even though Fabian didn’t know the reason himself, he subconsciously sensed that something was there.


Hugo suddenly remembered that the Countess of Falcon had done a background check on his wife a long time ago. At the time, he only thought it was reprehensible, but it wasn’t something that the woman he knew as knowledgeable on when to cleanly withdraw would do. There was nothing bad in being careful.


“Put a tail on the two of them.” (Hugo)


“Yes. I will do so.” (Fabian)


Fabian could feel the trust his lord had in him and he was filled with pride.


“What about the item I was looking for? The pendant.” (Hugo)


The corner of Fabian’s lips which were curling up in joy flopped down.


“I’m currently looking for it.” (Fabian)


“Still? Why is it taking so long to find one item?” (Hugo)


“I apologize. I will focus even more manpower on it.”


His lord rarely ever urged him on after giving him work to do. Fabian decided that this was going to be on the top of his to-do list, starting tomorrow.


Translator’s Corner:


1. It doesn’t say Ramis territory. I put Ramis in there so you know which territory is being talked about.


< — I love you — > (1)


After the coronation party, Lucia went about her social activities in only small-scale tea parties. Then after a long interval, a huge party was held at the Royal Palace. It was a charity dinner for women alone.


The King decided to extort money from the nobles in order to raise funds to look after the begging orphans in the capital. It was the first charity dinner held by the new King since his accession. It was going to be attended by many nobles so there was no choice but to open the vault.


The King left the hosting of the party to Katherine. The arrangement could help the national budget, and also help to his sister in her social activities. It was killing two birds with one stone.


Katherine enthusiastically made arrangements for the task given to her by her elder brother. With aspirations to hold a party of the highest scale, she sent invitations to all the decent aristocrats in the capital. Needless to say, Lucia received an invitation. An invitation alone was not enough; Katherine sent someone to receive a definite confirmation of attendance from Lucia.


Antoine visited the ducal residence in the morning to help with the preparations for the party that would be starting at noon. This time, Antoine made the dress with all of her effort. It was the biggest challenge for her to make a dress with ‘virtuous’ as the criteria.


The light red dress was very modest for Antoine’s standards. The neckline was high enough to cover the collarbone, and everything was covered till the wrists. It was just, the material for the shoulders and the arms were made of semi-transparent lace, giving the dress a somewhat sensual feeling. Antoine thought that this was a very large compromise for her standards.


Lucia wore the dress and made a final check in front of the mirror. A maid entered and scuttled to her side before speaking.


“Master is about to head out.”


A little while later, Hugo entered the receiving room.


When she looked away from the mirror to smile at him, Hugo paused. Today, she looked pure and at the same time, alluring. It was such a shame he had to go to work. He walked up to her, hugged her waist lightly and kissed her on the cheek.


“I have to head out first. When are you leaving?” (Hugo)


“In about an hour or so.” (Lucia)


Hugo lowered his gaze to look at her dress.


“It’s a new dress from the designer.” (Lucia)


“Hm.” (Hugo)


Hugo made a brief sound and turned to look at Antoine. He still had some bitterness towards the blabber-mouth designer.1 He also didn’t like the dress his wife was wearing. It didn’t have a lot of exposure but weirdly, it evoked a sensual feeling. However, because the party his wife was attending was only for women, he decided to let it go.


While Antoine bowed her head in greeting, she was inwardly exploding with dissatisfaction.


‘If you dare say this is still not modest, I’ll spread that the Duke of Taran has delusional jealousy.’


When the Duke of Taran withdrew his gaze without saying anything, Antoine lifted her head slightly in relief. She watched the ducal couple ask each other about their activities of the day, saying things like ‘When will the party end?’ or ‘You said you’ll be coming home late, right?’.


‘Aren’t they going to see each other again this evening? Why are they acting like they’re breaking up forever?’


Antoine glanced at the maid only to see the maid standing there, completely unmoved and nonchalant, as if saying this was an everyday occurrence.


Ever since the coronation party, Antoine had been hearing the same thing about the ducal couple from the noblewomen that visited her boutique. The refined noblewomen said that the couple’s relationship was intimate, the expressive noblewomen said that the Duke’s eyes were as sweet as honey when he looked at his wife, and the rumor-mongering noblewomen said that the Duke of Taran had completely fallen in love with his wife and refused to separate from her.


‘Rumors have to be listened to with a double filter but the exaggerated rumor that the Duke of Taran has completely fallen in love is right.’


That was the Antoine’s thought after witnessing the ducal couple of the rumors.


* * *


“Welcome.”


Katherine greeted Lucia in a very pleasant mood. Because their range of activities was different, it was hard for them to meet easily and Katherine was continuously disappointed.


Katherine stuck to Lucia and went around with her as if Lucia was a co-host of the party. The noblewomen who knew Katherine’s prickly temper were astonished and whispered amongst themselves. It led to the speculation that the Duchess who already had the backing of Duke Taran, was now also strengthening her relationship with the royal family. The people approaching Lucia became more persistent.


“Duchess, you are growing more beautiful everyday. The dress you’re wearing must be Antoine’s latest work. It wasn’t in the design book.”


The rumor that Antoine was the exclusive designer of the Duchess had already become widespread.


“Countess, you are also shining today. The feathers on your hat are very charming. It must be a very precious item.” (Lucia)


Lucia gave a suitable response to the showy Countess who was classifying people by their clothing.


“Ho-ho-ho. As expected, Duchess has a good eye. Indeed. This is very precious. I pestered my husband for three days and three nights before I managed to get it. Would you like me to introduce you to the feather merchant, Duchess?” (Countess)


“I’d appreciate it.” (Lucia)


Katherine had a strong personality and fierce manner of speaking but because she was next to Lucia, her rose-thorn-like prickliness was whittled down. The noblewomen were somewhat able to approach Katherine more comfortably than before.


“Countess. I believe your daughter made her social debut not too long ago. She has a lot to learn.” (Katherine)


Katherine’s tone was rough, as if she was indicating that Countess’ daughter was lacking in a lot of places. The Countess’ expression stiffened slightly and as the atmosphere began to harden, Lucia spoke up.


“Why didn’t you come with her today, Countess? She could have learnt a lot. Experience is learning. Even if she wasn’t sent an invitation, the Princess would have gladly welcomed the young lady if she was accompanied by Countess.” (Lucia)


Katherine primly added to her words.


“Sure. Bring her next time.” (Katherine)


The Countess smiled delightfully and replied.


“Actually, my daughter wanted to come with me today. I will introduce her when there’s an opportunity.” (Countess)


Katherine’s gaze fell on Lucia who was talking with someone else and a pleasant smile tugged at the corner of her lips.


Translator’s Corner:


1. He thinks she blabbed about the contract to Lucia.

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